SC to reconsider verdict criminalising gay sex

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But, with the apex court deciding to revisit its decision on Monday, there is a renewed hope among the members of the LGBT community.

In 2012, the Delhi High Court struck down Section 377 of IPC but it was set aside by the Supreme Court in the 2013 judgement on the grounds that it is the job of the legislature to do away with it, and it is not the job of the court to legislate. "It is an archaic provision, which has no place in 21st century India. the time has come that either the courts must read down Section 377 or the government should repeal Section 377 from the IPC", he said.

The supreme court observed in 2013 that fewer than 200 people had been convicted for homosexual acts under the legislation but activists say it is regularly used to blackmail and intimidate LBGTI Indians as well as to stymie HIV/Aids prevention efforts. Moreover, the law also mentions that "penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section". Several supreme court judges noted that sexual orientation fell under the privacy umbrella.

In 2009, the Apex court canceled the Delhi HC's order and re-criminalized homosexuality.

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"The 5th Circuit was right to find that those opposing this law haven't been harmed and, therefore, can't try to take it down", Kevin Theriot, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, said in a statement. The decision was widely criticised and was seen as a major setback for human rights.

A three-judge bench of Supreme Court, headed by CJI, said it would reconsider and examine the Constitutional validity of Section 377.

Sponsors of the law said they wanted to protect those who believe that marriage can exist only between a man and a woman and that a person's gender is determined at birth. Underlining the need to bring them into the mainstream, the verdict by a bench of Justices KS Radhakrishnan and AK Sikri said transgenders should have all rights under the law, including marriage, adoption, divorce, succession, and inheritance.

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